A vandal who scrawled graffiti on a post box painted gold in honour of paralympic hero Josef Craig has been told he 'brought shame on the nation'.
Nathan Geary daubed his tag ‘nopom’ on the post box in Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, and on other places in the surrounding streets.
The 21-year-old caused more than £1,100 of damage in the spree, on the night of September 11 - just days after the post box was painted in honour of 15-year-old swimmer Josef.
He became Team GB's youngest gold medallist when he won the men's S7 400m freestyle at the Paralympic Games in London last month.
Josef, of Primrose, Jarrow, broke the world record twice on his way to the title – once in his qualifying heat and then in the final itself.
Geary pleaded guilty to three charges of criminal damage at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court where his actions were condemned.
He had scrawled on the cellar doors of the Jarrow's Tunnel Club, formerly the Ex-Serviceman's Club, as well as defacing the post box in Grange Road, Jarrow.
Chairwoman of the bench Lorraine Montgomerie said: "This was dreadful. You have damaged places that are part of the community, not only that but a post box dedicated to a national hero.
"The whole country was so proud of Josef's achievements and you have brought shame and disgrace on your community and the nation."
VIDEO: Sky Tyne and Wear spoke to Jarrow residents the day after the post box was vandalised
She read out a statement from the postmaster saying: "The staff and public were disgusted by it.
"It was painted gold in celebration of a wonderful achievement by a local lad and to vandalise it is a terrible crime."
Mrs Beck told the court that CCTV footage captured Geary, of Wilkinson Court, Jarrow, scrawling on the tower block where he lives, the social club and bins, lamp posts, traffic signs, fences and benches in the area.
Some of the graffiti read 'Nathan loves Jade'.
The court heard that Geary, who has a two-year-old daughter, has no previous convictions for criminal damage.
Rachel Comb, defending, said: "He can't really offer an explanation for this. He had been drinking and can only remember committing some of the damage.
"He was remorseful when he was arrested and is remorseful now. He appreciates how stupid and mindless these acts were."
Magistrates adjourned the case until October 12 for the probation service to prepare a report about Geary.
More from News
- Missing Student Jason Fyles: Family Appeal For Teenager To Get In Touch
- Missing Student Jason Fyles: Growing Concern As Bank Account Untouched
- State Of Nature: Report Warns Of Threat To North East Wildlife
- Boy Aged 10 Airlifted To Hospital After Being Hit By Car In South Shields
- Ann Summers Party Ends In Violence
- Police Appeal For Information On Missing Newcastle University Student Jason Fyles
- Sports Direct Sign On Newcastle's St James' Park Roof Painted Over
- The Extreme Job Hunter: Video Stunts Set Dad's Online CV Apart